'Baby P' official fired without pay

The head of children's services at Haringey Council was sacked yesterday in the wake of the Baby P case.

Sharon Shoesmith was dismissed "with immediate effect" and will not receive any compensation or payment in lieu of notice, the north London council said in a statement.

Ms Shoesmith, 55, was suspended on 1 December by the Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, after inspectors identified a string of "serious concerns" about child protection services in the area, which they described as "inadequate".

She had provoked widespread public anger when she insisted that her department was not to blame for the death of Baby P.

The news came shortly after the council admitted it had spent £19,000 on media training for some of its high-profile employees, to ensure that they would be equipped to deal with the criticism levelled at their departments in the wake of the Baby P case.

Both Ms Shoesmith and Liz Santry, Haringey's former cabinet member for children and young people, who resigned earlier this month, are understood to be among those who received the training.